Green Jelly formed back in 1981 and began playing punk shows around Buffalo, New York, where they were notorious for their onstage antics and live theatrics. The band took on various cartoonish costumes in order to keep their identities unknown while anointing themselves as the “World’s Worst Band.”
Originally known as Green Jello, the band was able to establish a core following and then signed on to ZOO Records around 1988 as a “video only” band (a bluff that ended up working out.) They went on to release the video album Cereal Killer. A Seattle radio station played the song Three Little Pigs as a joke but it ended up being a local favorite. (That’s TOOL’s Maynard James Keenan singing the falsetto “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin” part!)
Then MTV began spinning the video for “Three Little Pigs” and the band appeared on their program Headbanger’s Ball. The video for “The Three Little Pigs” was directed by Fred Stuhr (who also directed Tool’s “Sober” video), and it featured a claymation rendition of the classic fairy tale with modern twists, such as pot-smoking pigs, an appearance by Rambo, and a Harley Davidson-riding wolf. The video was an instant hit on MTV and was No. 17 for most of the summer of 1993 in the US, receiving both an MTV music award and Billboard music award nomination.
With a popular video hitting the mainstream, Green Jelly eventually released their first CD to go along with the video album in 1993, calling it Cereal Killer Soundtrack.
With fame comes those legal problems. The band was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit from Kraft Foods and was forced to change their name, hence the new name, Green Jelly (which they say is still pronounced as Green Jello.)
The album Cereal Killer Soundtrack is described as foolish and fun careless rock, with titles like “Misadventures of Shitman” or “Flight of the Skajaquada.” Green Jelly also takes the Sex Pistol’s punk anthem “Anarchy in the U.K.” and adds a twist with numerous references to The Flintstones.
In 1994, Green Jellÿ began a joint venture with $4 million from their parent company, BMG music, to open Green Jellÿ Studios, an audio and visual production house on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The production house made music videos for other artists, as well as production pieces for TV and film. It was here that Green Jellÿ recorded and filmed their 4th album, 333 (which received a Grammy nomination in 1995.)
The album spawned “The Bear Song” which appears in the Farrelly Brothers film Dumb and Dumber. Also in 1994, the band provided the first-ever video game soundtrack for the Acclaim Entertainment video game Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage, and the sequel, Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety.
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